Sunday, December 30, 2012

A line from 'Queen Makeda's Sister'

"To stay young at heart is a mixed blessing," the old man said, more to himself than to his rare visitor, "for it will make you yearn for the company of those who do not want yours." 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A few chapters of QUEEN MAKEDA'S SISTER lost...

Unfortunately, a friend of mine lost the print-out of the first three chapters of my final draft of QUEEN MAKEDA'S SISTER. Luckily, I still have everything on my computer. Using various keywords, I checked whether any of it would show up on google but didn't find anything.This implies great wisdom on the part of whoever found the manuscript, because I will most certainly bring legal action against anyone who posts even the tiniest portion of it on the internet or uses my work in any other fashion. Hopefully, the person who has those pages enjoyed the story thus far and is now looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A thought on editing

While editing my novel and watching a whopping 32,000 words disappear from my manuscript, I couldn't help but wonder how many hours I had wasted on something that lay now on the cutting room floor. But then a thought came to me: maple trees do not produce maple syrup. They produce maple sap which has to be boiled down to make syrup. In fact, it takes up to 50 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of decent maple syrup.
Perhaps a similar process is necessary to create a good novel. As you start writing, your brain simply pours out the "sap" of the story into the first few drafts. Then editing reduces it to the delicious "syrup" your muse demands and your readers deserve.
So do not cry a single tear over all the water that will evaporate in the process (it was most likely necessary to flush out all the good stuff that remains). Instead, my friend, stoke the fire under the kettle and start making some pancakes to enjoy with the finished product. :-) 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

— — —

It is poetic justice that there is an abbr. for the word 'abbreviation'.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who wrote this?

I started work on this trilogy more than three years ago. To my surprise, the fact that I have been at it for so long presents me with a peculiar challenge now that I am editing some of the earlier chapters: I am no longer the person who wrote them. Wounds I had back then are almost healed now. Older dreams faded and new ones took their place. My outlook on life has changed in subtle ways. 

With some of the thoughts I put down then, I have difficulties remembering exactly what gave rise to them. And yet with others, I know where they came from but do not wish to remember.

My writing style, too, is slightly different today, and so I am busy now making the necessary changes, lest the three books look as if they were written by different authors.

It is an interesting experience to come face to face with the guy who started writing this story. He sometimes make me smile, but more often he makes me cringe and shake my head. All in all, though, we are getting along quite well.